A scaled back Utah State Fair could happen next month

Aug 14, 2020, 8:09 PM
The Utah State Fair logo. State fair officials said the 2020 event will go on as scheduled in September, along with its traditional contests and exhibits.

SALT LAKE CITY – With Salt Lake City still in the orange phase, it’s been difficult for large-scale events to happen. The Utah State Fair, however, looks like it could take place in September, though it would be scaled back to protect people from a COVID-19 outbreak. 

Fair Executive Director Larry Mullenax told state lawmakers on Friday that they’re looking at limiting the number of attendees to 6,000 total, a fraction of the usual attendance, and would require people to walk in one direction.

They are also cutting the number of food vendors in half, while attendees will be ordering online. 

“We will be launching an app,” Mullenax said, “You’ll literally be able to go to that app and order your food and it will tell you where you can pick it up, and you will prepay for it, eliminating lines.” 

Food ordering isn’t the only thing that would be going digital at the fair. 

“We will launch a digital ticketing platform. We would require that all of the fair patrons log onto a website [and] provide their personal information, which would provide us access for contact tracing,” Mullenax said. 

Mullenax said people would also be required to wear masks. 

When asked about how they would enforce a mask mandate, Mullenax said they have been able to do so at smaller events by just asking people to wear them and escorting out anyone who continues to refuse. 

Mullenax said many blue ribbon events will not happen at the Utah State Fair this year because there are too many people involved in those events. Live cooking demonstrations will also be out. 

While the open livestock show would be canceled because there are usually a large number of out of state participants, the students in 4-H and Future Farmers of America would still compete in the junior show. 

“A lot of our youth, they use this revenue to pay for their college funds. But [a lot of people in urban areas are] unaware…these children take loans out to raise these animals, and it’s part of their development,” Mullenax said, “to help them understand the ranching and cattling [sic] business and how to navigate life as adults.” 

Utah’s Own Rodeo, Monster Trucks, and a demo derby will be held, though with fewer people allowed in the audience. 

While fair organizers are still working out the details, a state committee voted on Friday to support the plan.


Related Links:

Utah State Fair plans to be held in September as planned

Cache County Fair is still a go, despite coronavirus concerns

Utah Business Revival event happened despite being denied at two previous locations

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A scaled back Utah State Fair could happen next month